IN a controversial planning application dating back years, it is confirmed  Abbotswood residents will not get a pub or a GP surgery.

Instead, they will get a three-storey retirement home.

Residents of the estate, were told they would get a public house and a GP surgery back in 2014 however, in 2019, Mcarthy and Stone, retirement home developers held a community involvement exhibition in which they explained there had been no interested buyers or investors to support either a pub or a medical facility and they proposed a complete change of purpose for the currently vacant land.

In 2019 an e-petition was set up by nearby residents to abolish the plans for a retirement village. When the petition ended it had 107 signatures of support.

During the same year, the council also received 15 public objections to the development and objections from Romsey Extra Parish and the Romsey and District planning Committee of which have all now expired.

Objections included the lack of car parking designated to the retirement homes, the added pressure on Romsey’s medical services and that people are not getting services they thought they were when purchasing the homes.

There were six representations made in support of the development.

A late admission of support was received by the council in August this year from Mrs Maggi Wood of Minchin Road, Romsey. She said: “I feel that this addition to Abbotswood will be beneficial because it will add another layer to the community, cradle to the grave housing.

“The only addition I feel should be made to the plans is the provision of electric car charging points in the car park and solar panels on the roof to make things as environmentally friendly as possible.”

An Abbotswood resident who does not wish to be named spoke with the Advertiser this week. He said “Why has it taken Mcarthy and Stone so long to get the planning approved, it’s disgusting.

“Doctors are unable to cope now so what is going to happen with more elderly people moving to the area, along with the new development in Nightingale and why it's taken the developers so long to start the final block of houses in Abbotswood is beyond me.

“We are now 6 years since the last property was finished on the main site and yet there is at least another 18 months of construction left outstanding on the development.”

A report published by the Test Valley Southern Area Planning Committee on August 31 deemed the plans for the retirement flats were ‘acceptable’, but subject to conditions such as the removal of nitrates and future management of the nitrate mitigation, New Forest SPA contributions and contributions to affordable housing.

Mcarthy and Stone have been asked for comments.